Recently, the Grover Beach council voted 3-2 to retain Mayor Debbie Peterson as its APCD Board representative. The meeting was chaired by the mayor, thus:
Traditionally, when an agenda item generates many speakers, that item is moved forward. The agenda item about replacing the mayor was scheduled last. A council member suggested moving it forward. Peterson refused because she had promised someone traveling in that she wouldn’t. So, those who supported removing her waited 3 1/2 hours until the item was heard. A large number of her supporters arrived at 9:30 p.m.
Traditionally, speakers are called to speak in the order in which speaker forms are submitted. The mayor called every person there to speak against her first, and all those in support after that. This tactic ensured that the opposition’s comments were not the last thing heard. Also, the mayor’s supporters could refute comments of previous speakers without having their comments challenged.
The mayor presided over the agenda item that addressed her position and was allowed to vote to retain herself, resulting in a 3-2 decision.
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Her supporters holding signs violated City Council meeting guidelines that prohibit demonstrations and intimidation tactics.
The self-serving mayor ran the meeting in a manipulative , heavy-handed manner. So much for democracy in Grover Beach.